In just two years, Mr Balotelli has been caught fighting team-mates in training four different times (though they should be lucky he didn’t pull out the darts!) Things are apparently all sweetness and hugs after a routine spat with Micah Richards though (rumour has it the fight was over who had the shittier Mohican), indeed Richards confirmed on Twitter later the pair were best buds again. But here are 10 team-mate bust ups that didn’t end so nicely:
1. Kieron Dyer vs. Lee Bowyer – Moments after Villa took a 3-0 lead at St James’ Park, a spot of fisticuffs broke out in the centre circle. ‘Brilliant’ thought the violent-loving Geordies, ‘I hope Gareth Barry gets his face smashed in.’ Alas, Gareth Barry was the one breaking up the fight as the ground realised it was fact Lee Bowyer and Kieron Dyer who were swinging the handbags at 10 paces. A couple of ripped shirts later and football had its most famous team-mate fight, as both players were sent off in disgrace. Top work boys.
DAVID HAYE-OMETER 10/10
2. Roy Keane vs. Mick McCarthy – The World Cup is meant to be the pinnacle of any player’s career, but for Keane, it represented one of the low points. Angry at the lack of facilities available to the players and a ‘car park’ of a training pitch, Keane stormed out after a row with the coaches before an extraordinary tirade against his boss. His x-rated rant read: “Mick, you’re a liar… you’re a f*****g w****r. I didn’t rate you as a player, I don’t rate you as a manager, and I don’t rate you as a person. You’re a f*****g w****r and you can stick your World Cup up your arse. The only reason I have any dealings with you is that somehow you are the manager of my country! You can stick it up your bollocks.” However, McCarthy had the last laugh as his Irish side came home heroes after a great campaign, whilst Roy watched on from home when he wasn’t walking his dogs.
DAVID HAYE-OMETER 4/10
3. John Hartson vs. Eyal Berkovic – A routine training ground challenge got a bit tasty between these two West Ham team-mates back in 1998. As Hartson tried to help the Israeli to his feet, the diminutive midfielder decided to punch him in the leg. Not a wise move to a man of Hartson’s size and the big Welsh striker went all Eric Cantona on his pal, landing a savage kick to the face. Brutal.
DAVID HAYE-OMETER 8/10
4. David Batty vs. Graeme Le Saux – Blackburn’s European adventure in 1995 turned all European nightmare as the two former England internationals had a dust up in Moscow. Perhaps taking on the hard-as-nails midfielder wasn’t the best policy from Le Saux however, as Batty landed a good shot right on his teammate’s face. Mind you, after that penalty miss against Argentina in 1998, most of the country wanted to join Graeme in giving Batty a good hard slap.
DAVID HAYE-OMETER 6/10
5. Dennis Wise vs. Callum Davidson – Pre-season went horribly wrong for Leicester City in 2002 after a hotel fight between Wise and Davidson. Wise had a reputation for being a bit of a scrapper, especially after Alex Ferguson once said he could ‘start a fight in an empty room.’ Following a dispute over a game of cards, Wise unleashed his fists of fury, breaking Davidson’s nose and jaw in the process. He was promptly sacked.
DAVID HAYE-OMETER 9/10
6. Joey Barton vs. Richard Dunne and a 15 Year-Old Everton Fan
Trust Joey to go to Thailand and nail the first 15-year old he saw. Fortunately, Barton’s life of crime hasn’t descended that far, but he did assault a 15 year-old boy who had roundly abused Joey in the hotel, before kicking him in the shin. Good on ya lad. Barton then responded in the manliest way possible, slapping the boy in the face before biting skipper Richard Dunne’s finger when he split the pair apart. Barton was promptly sent home for counselling for drink and anger problems, something that has lead to his re-appearance as a philosophical Tweeter. So inspirational, he even won Nuts’ Tweeter of the Year for 2011, congratulations Joey.
DAVID HAYE-OMETER 2/10
7. Craig Bellamy vs. John Arne Riise – A trip to Portugal featured a harmless bit of karaoke for the Liverpool players before their Champions League clash with Barcelona. Or that’s what they thought. Bellamy took offence at Riise’s refusal to sing in the competition and things escalated until Bellamy allegedly took a swing at John’s legs with a golf club. It would have been OK if he’d have taken off the right one anyway; Riise’s only got a left foot. The rumours were confirmed when Bellamy scored in the Nou Camp, producing the now-infamous golf swing celebration to howls of laughter from his team-mates.
DAVID HAYE-OMETER 4/10
8. Stan Collymore vs. Trevor Benjamin – It’s good to see professionals taking their job seriously, so a bit of passion in Leicester’s reserve team match against Charlton from the players went down well with supporters. Unfortunately Collymore and Benjamin took their on-field disagreement into the changing room, where the row became so heated, they came to blows. Collymore even refused to come out for the second half, hastening his exit from the Foxes.
DAVID HAYE-OMETER 7/10
9. Joey Barton vs. Ousmane Dabo – Barton flies in with a second entry for his astonishing attack on French teammate Dabo in 2007. This fight was the final straw for his City career; he received a 4 month jail sentence and was promptly sold to Newcastle. Not sure what’s worse. Joey isn’t exactly repentant either, giving his version of events a couple of years ago, calling Ousmane a “pussy” and stating “where I come from there is no rule. You fight until it’s over.” Such a classy gent.
DAVID HAYE-OMETER 8/10
10. Jens Lehmann vs. Marcio Amoroso – Jens is no stranger to controversy, indeed this is a man who once urinated on the pitch during a Champions League match. Proving all goalies are crazy during his time at Borussia Dortmund, he once threw a wobbly at Amoroso, running half the length of the field to remonstrate with the Brazilian for his part in a goal conceded. Lehmann then lost the plot, throwing his teammate around like a rag doll, before receiving his marching orders from the referee. All this was happening whilst the goal was being disallowed for offside…
DAVID HAYE-OMETER 5/10